Felony charges filed against 'Goblin Topplers'

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  • JMT Springville, UT
    Feb. 2, 2014 6:27 a.m.

    This will be a really interesting case of justice. If they get 5-years, which I doubt, what other felony crimes is that comparable too? How many DUIs will not get 5-years? Child porn? Attempted murder? Bank robbery? Domestic abuse? White Collar crime of mortgage fraud for millions of dollars?

    The act of topling a rock is one thing, we now measure the harm to society versus these other criminal acts. I worry with the heightened sense of fury from the environmental angle and they may get a harsher sentence than these others I've mentioned.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 1, 2014 8:14 p.m.

    "It is obvious from the video that the rock did not pose any danger."

    It certainly won't now.

    "The formations in Goblin park are millions of years old..."

    The entire earth is millions if not billions of years old.

    "The whole reason this state park exists is because of these formations."

    About 99.999999 percent of the formations are still there. Enjoy them and forget the single rock laying on the ground.

    "Utah has millions of dollars in tourism, in part because of its unique geological formations."

    This should bring millions more to see the rock in question.

    "If one truly felt this formation was a danger how hard would it have been to notify park rangers?"

    I think they were off. Wasn't the government shut down?

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 1, 2014 4:51 p.m.

    The bid question is... is there a law (or regulation) against tipping rocks over in this national park? And why, in the first place, is this a national instead of a state park? Are the rangers, who soulda been on the job, state or federal employees? Inquiring minds wanna know.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    The formations in Goblin park are millions of years old, they are irreplaceable. The whole reason this state park exists is because of these formations. How anyone could take it upon them self to destroy what is there is beyond belief. Utah has millions of dollars in tourism, in part because of its unique geological formations.

    If one truly felt this formation was a danger how hard would it have been to notify park rangers?

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    The attitude of some people is alarming. "Its just a rock." It is obvious from the video that the rock did not pose any danger.

    I hope they do receive some jail time.

  • sunderland56 Moab, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Everyone says how this was "a dangerous rock", and should have been removed. From the video itself, it was not at all easy to topple the rock; and why stop at just this one? Every single hoodoo in the park is similar, and will fall over in the next few hundred years. If they remove all the danger, the park would cease to be interesting.

    Let us hope that these three don't visit Arches National Park and see Balanced Rock.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 6:28 a.m.

    I think that BSA needs to require Church scout leaders to complete basic training and any other training deemed necessary for leaders before they are allowed to take young men into the wilderness. IMO the two "leaders" were untrained, terribly poor examples of stewardship of the wilderness experience.

    I do not think their "mea culpa" was sufficient. I do not agree with their statement that they are moving on cuts it for me. I am satisfied with the charges and let them work it out in court.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 4:32 a.m.

    Not Guilty of any crime and common sense and saving peoples lives from injury was the only reason this toppling was performed.

    Had they not acted to prevent harm, death, or injury to the scouts in their trust then it would have been a crime of manslaughter. Was it commons senses to save other from harm or is this an absurd AG pretender trying to make a name for himslef? Then to date it retroactive to entrap for a crime that wasn't a crime before the law is illegal.

    Some times its more stupid not to act and in this case they are not guilty and justified in toppling a car size boulder teetering toward a disaster by onsite judgement call justified.

    Not guilty, they have saved someones life which is more valuable then a park boulder endangering lives. Now the park service will have to check every boulder in every park in the stats to make its secure before anyone can enter the parks. The state has just made themselves liable for any natural events or slides or boulders rolling down the slopes or off the top of each other that may harm visitors.

  • incog99 McCall, ID
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:40 a.m.

    They are not felons, however, there was a better way to handle the situation. Instead of taking the law into their own hands, they should have notified the park rangers of the danger near the trail and allowed the rangers to make the decision to either move the trail or take down the rock. It is unfortunate for all involved.

  • Neanderthal Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 1, 2014 12:48 a.m.

    This rock could have likely fallen over in a few years anyway... and maybe hurt someone.

  • rajahsmom Chicago, IL
    Feb. 1, 2014 12:37 a.m.

    Come on Utah, you charge a person who broke a few rocks with a felony, but charged a man who murdered a beautiful yearling horse and nearly starved/froze her mother to death with a misdemeanor. Something is definitely wrong with this picture, when inanimate objects have more value than living, breathing, and sentient beings. A rock....! You want the world to know that you care more for a rock, than you do God's living creatures?

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:36 p.m.

    "How do we stop future desecration of natural features like this..."

    Put a sign up at the entrance road and along the trails that says... 'don't disturb the rock formations. Doing so is a felony punishable by fine and possible imprisonment.'

    These guys just might have saved someone's life by stabilizing an unstable rock in the park. They should receive a medal of some sort.

    My friend brought home a pebble he found on federal property in a Utah desert. It looked like any rock one might find in a gravel pit. Should he be fined and imprisoned for malicious and unauthorized removal of government property?

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:37 p.m.

    This is so melodramatic.

    Stupid act of public vandalism in the desert must be treated as a felony, so everyone understands how serious we are. But the ugly scrawls of sprayed graffiti that grace our cities everywhere is "street art", is unremarkable, and goes largely unpunished.

  • Demo Dave Holladay, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:26 p.m.

    It's highly doubtful that they'll do any jail time, but felony convictions, $5000 each, and 5000 hours of community service cleaning pit toilets at Goblin Valley State Park in August would satisfy my desire for justice. It might serve as a deterrent for all the other selfish, inconsiderate miscreants out there.

  • hooptax Hooper, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 7:26 p.m.

    I hope these guys do not plead guilty or take a plea deal. No jury would ever find them guilty of a felony. They tipped over a rock, that was ready to fall over anyway! We should not waste the court's time with stupid crap like this. They should have got a "stern warning" to not do this again and let it go at that. I hope I get called to jury duty on this stupid case!

  • Whattheheck? Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:42 p.m.

    The charges fit the crime. How do we stop future desecration of natural features like this, or public or private property if the criminals aren't punished to the fullest extent? Letting them off with a slap on the hand would only show others that they can do stupid things like these guys did and get away with it. The punishment fits the crime, and it WAS a crime.

  • BoringGuy Holladay, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:39 p.m.

    Not only did the one guy complicate his disability claim, it looks like both of these men could actually spend some time at the Point of the Mountain.

    Like Forrest Gump says, Stupid is as Stupid does ... or something like that.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:29 p.m.

    I agree with both @md and @Happy Valley Heretic.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:17 p.m.

    Hmmm.. Wonder why the BSA kicked them out of their Organization? duh, Fellas, what you did was wrong. What you did was socially unacceptable. Guys, man up and take your punishment. The people of Utah should be glad Goblin toppling isn't becoming an Olympic sport, otherwise most of Southeastern Utah will be a pile of red rocks.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:00 p.m.

    The fine is alright, and while I feel like a felony is a little strong, I suspect they're making an example of them to discourage this kind of behavior.

  • md Cache, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:10 p.m.